Medical directors Dr. Raul Mateo and Dr. Nancy Reeder are a critical part of Ovation Jewish Home’s interdisciplinary medical care team, working alongside with the nursing department, led by Director of Nursing Laura Bauer. We recently sat down with Dr. Mateo and Dr. Reeder to learn more about what makes this partnership so successful.

Q: How is Ovation’s medical team structured to support resident care?

Dr. Mateo: Our responsibility as medical directors is to oversee and implement the high quality of care that is needed at a senior living community like Ovation. It really goes far beyond the two of us and takes the entire nursing team to complement and fulfill what we do. We wouldn’t be able to do it without Laura and the rest of the nursing team.

Q: How did you get started in this profession and what brought you to Ovation?

Dr. Mateo: I started my career in family medicine and quickly fell in love with geriatrics and pursued it as a specialty. Nita Corre asked me to fill in temporarily at the Jewish Home when the last medical director retired, and I’ve stayed for 30 years! I immediately felt part of the community and loved the way it ran; I just never left.

Dr. Reeder: My background is in internal medicine and my interest in geriatrics was sparked when a friend and I cared for a 92-year-old neighbor. I realized that at any age, if you get the right support from your medical team and community, you can have a good life. Dr. Mateo and I became acquainted through Milwaukee’s medical community and several professional groups. I’ve always looked up to him as a mentor, and I’ve enjoyed working alongside him as part of Ovation’s team for the past 15 years.

Q: It’s unique to have two medical directors on staff. Tell us a bit about that.

Drs. Mateo and Reeder: We’re both certified medical directors, which is rare in the field, and actively involved with the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. We’re lucky to be able to work together to support each other and Ovation’s residents.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working with Ovation?

Dr. Mateo: The satisfaction I get from caring for the residents. You really get to know them, and they become part of your family and part of your life. Just spending time listening or having dinner together sometimes does more for a person’s overall wellbeing than any medicine I could prescribe. It gives me a real sense of happiness. Also knowing the staff are so united, work so well together and support each other is very satisfying. Every time I leave Ovation I feel like a part of me stays behind.

Dr. Reeder: Walking into Ovation is just like coming home. Engaging with residents and hearing about their days and their lives adds a whole other dimension. I’m always struck by Ovation as being the most enjoyable place to do what I’m doing. Everyone on the team strives to do their very best and I’m always confident the residents are well cared for.